Swiss team leads European initiative to revolutionize lighting
and vision systems.

Neuchatel, 11 January 2007 – A European consortium lead by CSEM SA has started a 2.8 million Euro project to bring plasmonics from the realms of academia to being a key element in future development of the European photonics industry. The project, called PLEAS – Plasmon Enhanced Photonics, aims to achieve these goals by controlling light in metals at the nanoscale.

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The project will have a strong impact on photodetectors used in applications ranging from portable phones to security leading to cheaper more powerful cameras and on greenhouse emissions by increasing energy efficiency LEDs used in general and automotive lighting, in projection systems and in backlights for LCD displays.

Europe is the world leader in plasmonic enhanced photonics. To maintain European competitiveness, it is crucial that the 6th Framework program is financing two strategic research projects and one network of excellence on Plasmonics

Almost all photonic components from light emitting diodes (LEDs) and image sensors are limited in their size and performance by the so-called diffraction limit. In principle, light cannot be channeled efficiently through spaces smaller than the diffraction limit. Plasmonics can overcome this and in doing so, has the potential to revolutionize photonics.

A plasmon is the name given to photons that are trapped at the surface of metals and localized on the nanoscale. By controlling these plasmons, light can be channeled through otherwise opaque metal films. By careful design, the light can be filtered spectrally. It can be collected from across a large area and focused to tiny spots.

“On one hand, the European research community is the world leader in almost every area of plasmon research, on the other hand the huge potential of plasmons had not been supported adequately by the photonics industry. In this project, we have the top plasmon experts sitting around the same table as two major players from the European photonics industry, explaining their vision of how plasmonic can revolutionize photonics. Thanks to EU funding, we have a unique opportunity to implement this vision.“ Ross Stanley, Project Coordinator.

The PLEAS consortium lead by CSEM SA, includes OSRAM Opto Semiconductor a world leader in high performance LED design and manufacture, Sagem Défense Sécurité (SAFRAN Group) a key player in vision-based security and the leading players in plasmon application and theory.

Additional information
Ross Stanley, MOEMS Section
Tel. +41 32 720 5062, Fax +41 32 720 5740
E-mail: ross.stanley(at)


CSEM – an innovation center
CSEM, Centre Suisse d’ Electronique et de Microtechnique (Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology), founded in 1984 is a private research and development centre, which has specialised in microtechnology, nanotechnology, microelectronics, system engineering and communications technologies. It offers its customers and industry partners tailor-made innovative solutions based on its technological expertise from applied research. Furthermore, in founding start-ups, it actively contributes to developing Switzerland as an industrial location. To date, a total of 23 such new enterprises have been launched by CSEM.

Approximately 300 highly qualified and specialised employees from various scientific and technical disciplines work for CSEM in Neuchâtel and the two regional centers in Zurich and Alpnach. They represent more than 20 nationalities and constitute the basis of the company’s creativity, dynamism and innovation potential.

Further information is available at


OSRAM Opto Semiconductors
OSRAM Opto Semiconductors GmbH of Regensburg is a wholly owned subsidiary of OSRAM, one of the world´s two leading lighting manufacturers in the world. It offers its customers solutions based on semiconductor technology for lighting, sensor and visualization applications. The company employs more than 3,500 people worldwide and operates sites in Regensburg (Germany), San Jose (USA) and Penang (Malaysia). Sales for the fiscal year ending September 2006 totaled more than EUR 500 million.

Further information is available at .


Sagem Défense Sécurité
Sagem Défense Sécurité is a high-technology company in the SAFRAN Group. As a leading European defense and security electronics company in Europe, its business covers three main fields: navigation and aeronautics systems, where it is the world leader in helicopter flight control; optronics and air-land systems, where it is the European leader in surveillance and fire-control optronics; and the field of security, where it is the world leader in fingerprint-based biometrics.

Its equipment and integrated systems are used worldwide, helping to ensure air transport safety, secure data transmission, personal security and governmental defense capabilities at the highest level. Through the SAFRAN Group, Sagem Défense Sécurité is present on all continents.

Further information is available at


Media contact

Claudine Julia-Schmutz, Marketing Communications
Tel. +41 32 720 5694, Fax +41 32 720 5730
e-mail: claudine.julia-schmutz(at)

OSRAM Opto Semiconductors GmbH
Dr. Reiner Windisch, Technology InGaAlP
Tel: +49 941 850 1519, Fax: +49 941 850 1090

Sagem Défense Sécurité
Philippe Wodka-Gallien, Relations presse
Tél.: +33 (0)1 58 11 19 49
E- Mail : philippe.wodka-gallien(at)


© 2007 Plasmon Enhanced Photonics